The Marriage Portrait: A novel (Unabridged‪)‬

    • 4.2 • 183 Ratings
    • $16.99

    • $16.99

Publisher Description

WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION FINALIST REESE’S BOOK CLUB PICK • NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER • The author of award-winning Hamnet brings the world of Renaissance Italy to jewel-bright life in this unforgettable fictional portrait of the captivating young duchess Lucrezia de' Medici as she makes her way in a troubled court.

“I could not stop reading this incredible true story.” —Reese Witherspoon (Reese’s Book Club Pick)

"O’Farrell pulls out little threads of historical detail to weave this story of a precocious girl sensitive to the contradictions of her station...You may know the history, and you may think you know what’s coming, but don’t be so sure."The Washington Post

Florence, the 1550s. Lucrezia, third daughter of the grand duke, is comfortable with her obscure place in the palazzo: free to wonder at its treasures, observe its clandestine workings, and devote herself to her own artistic pursuits. But when her older sister dies on the eve of her wedding to the ruler of Ferrara, Modena and Reggio, Lucrezia is thrust unwittingly into the limelight: the duke is quick to request her hand in marriage, and her father just as quick to accept on her behalf.
Having barely left girlhood behind, Lucrezia must now enter an unfamiliar court whose customs are opaque and where her arrival is not universally welcomed. Perhaps most mystifying of all is her new husband himself, Alfonso. Is he the playful sophisticate he appeared to be before their wedding, the aesthete happiest in the company of artists and musicians, or the ruthless politician before whom even his formidable sisters seem to tremble?
As Lucrezia sits in constricting finery for a painting intended to preserve her image for centuries to come, one thing becomes worryingly clear. In the court’s eyes, she has one duty: to provide the heir who will shore up the future of the Ferranese dynasty. Until then, for all of her rank and nobility, the new duchess’s future hangs entirely in the balance.
Full of the beauty and emotion with which she illuminated the Shakespearean canvas of Hamnet, Maggie O’Farrell turns her talents to Renaissance Italy in an extraordinary portrait of a resilient young woman’s battle for her very survival.

Genevieve Gaunt
hr min
September 6
Random House Audio

Customer Reviews

rnilly ,

Perfect perfect book.

Despite what other listeners have to say about the imagery, this book depicts a wildly beautiful scene of Italy in the 1500s. I loved the symbolism of the tiger and the lions, and the mind of Lucre. This was truly a very well-written book, and perfectly narrated

OG jersey ,

Excellent Book

I could picture every scene and was immersed in the history and life of this young woman. Excellent narration and character development. If you love historical fiction this is a must read.

Lace071110 ,

It’s okay.

I was so excited to read this from the reviews, but it fell flat for me. I can appreciate the historical accuracy and creative fiction intertwined, but overall I got bored with the imagery and excessive descriptions. I don’t need to know the shape of his fingernails. I endured a lot of this for an ending that didn’t deliver like I hoped it would. Creative, but didn’t connect all the dots. Just not for me.

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